CHRISTINE SCHULER DESCHRYVER has called Bukavu her home all her life. She oversees all aspects of V-Day’s work on the ground in the DRC, including the City of Joy and coordinating campaign activities on the local, provincial, and national levels. She is an internationally renowned human rights activist who has worked as a teacher, an administrator for CARE CANADA, and, for 13 years, as an administrator for the German Technical Cooperation, where she oversaw a staff of over 100. She travels widely advocating for Congolese women’s rights.
EVE ENSLER, Tony Award winning playwright, performer, and activist, is the author of The Vagina Monologues, which has been translated into over 48 languages, performed in over 140 countries. Her books include Insecure At Last: A Political Memoir; the New York Times bestseller I Am An Emotional Creature, and her latest critically acclaimed memoir In the Body of the World. She is founder of V-Day, the global activist movement to end violence against women and girls which has raised over 120 million dollars to end violence and One Billion Rising, a global mass action campaign in over 200 countries. She was named one of Newsweek’s “150 Women Who Changed the World” andThe Guardian’s “100 Most Influential Women.” Her newest play O.P.C. recently had it’s world premiere at A.R.T. at Harvard in November.
LAURA FLANDERS, best-selling author and broadcaster hosts The Laura Flanders Show on GRITtv, an online channel for in-depth interviews with forward-thinking people which she founded in 2008. The Laura Flanders Show is syndicated globally by TeleSUR English TV. Flanders is also the Strong Local Economies Fellow at Yes! magazine (“Commonomics”) and a contributing writer to The Nation. She is the author of several books including The New York Times best-seller, BUSHWOMEN: Tales of a Cynical Species (Verso, 2004) and Blue GRIT: True Democrats Take Back Politics from the Politicians (Penguin Press, 2007) as well as the editor of At the Tea Party…(O/R Books, 2010) and The W. Effect (The Feminist Press, 2004). Flanders’ nationally-syndicated Laura Flanders Show aired on Air America Radio from 2004-2008. Before joining Air America when it launched in March 2004, Laura was the founding host of the award-winning “Your Call,” on public radio, KALW, 91.7 fm in San Francisco. She also directed the Women’s Desk at the media watch group, FAIR and for more than ten years she produced and hosted CounterSpin, FAIR’s nationally-syndicated radio program.
AGNES PAREYIO, Kenya Director for V-Day, was named the United Nations in Kenya Person of the Year in 2005, and has worked with V-Day since 2000. She is the founder and director of the first V-Day Safe House for the Girls, which was established for young women and girls fleeing FGM in Narok, Kenya. The Safe House provides a safe haven for girls escaping from FGM and early marriage – a place where young women can safely celebrate an alternative “rite of passage,” enabling Maasai women to follow their tradition without undergoing the cut. In 2009, Ms. Paryeio and V-Day opened the second V-Day Safe House in Kenya, the Sakutiek Rescue Center. Agnes has been a candidate for Kenyan Parliament. She was elected as a councillor for Upper Melili Ward and Vice-Chairperson to the Narok council in 2002, where she still serves.
MONIQUE WILSON is one of the Philippine’s veteran theatre and film actresses – having acted professionally since the age of nine. At 18 she starred as the lead role in the original London West End production of Miss Saigon. In 1994, at 24 years old, she went back to the Philippines and founded the New Voice Company (NVC) theatre group, with a vision to awaken, inspire and transform Philippine audiences with socially provocative and innovative political theatre work. Her theatre group has produced The Vagina Monologues in the Philippines since 2000 and V-Day events since 2001, and helped change the laws on sex trafficking and domestic violence with performances in the Philippine Senate and Congress. Monique recently left a five year post as head of the MA/MFA Acting International course, which she spearheaded, at the East 15 Acting School in London – where she trained postgraduate international actors from over 45 countries, and where she organized V-Day events and directed political plays, to become Director of the One Billion Rising campaign.
ZOYA Zoya is a women’s rights activist who has worked extensively in refugee camps in Afghanistan and Pakistan. In 2014, together with V-Day, she founded a leadership center in Kabul. The center is providing free, non-formal education in literacy, science, computers, family planning and English for Afghan women and girls, as well as legal, psychosocial and counseling support.